By Amit Acco, Partner
We have recently encountered several unfortunate denials of entry to Israel of business persons with dual nationalities: one of visa waiver countries (for example US or EU) and the other is of either one of the following: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or Yemen. For example, UK national is also a Lebanese national. These individuals were denied entry and sent back to the country they arrived from.
Due to the major inconvenience and confusion it created, we have decided to post this article, to alert individuals from such attempt entries. We also recommend below on a course of action that should be initiated in advance to allow such travel.
General Prohibition from Entry Into Israel for Citizens of Hostile Countries
According to legal and practical precedent, it is customary to include under the umbrella of the term “hostile countries” Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
To allow a visit of a hostile country national to Israel (even if he is a dual national of a waiver nationality – like the EU or US), an application will have to be submitted at the Ministry of Interior, in Israel, by the inviting party (normal company). The application will have to be later forwarded to the Israeli security agencies to evaluate the application on its merits. The application will have to demonstrate a strong need for the travel and be accompanied by a security clearance form that will detail biographical data regarding the visitor and his family.
In case entry is allowed, and despite the pre-approval, it is important to emphasize that the individual may be questioned upon entering Israel due to security reasons.
KTA can provide the required legal service at the Ministry of Interior from Israel, to allow the proposed travel. It is important to initiate this process at least 3 months before the travel date, due to the security clearance process.